an introduction to the Person and work of the Holy Spirit
Ephesus is as good a place as any to start! When Paul first arrived there his opening gambit to the disciples there was a probing question – “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”: to which they replied – “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit” (Acts 19.1f).
Sadly (and strangely!) their answer is often reflected in the experience of Christians today: while they will, of course, almost certainly have heard of the Holy Spirit, in too many cases Christians have not been taught that much about Him (and, indeed, aren’t even sure whether to refer to the Holy Spirit as ‘Him’ or ‘it’).
Whatever the reasons for this are, it’s a regrettable omission, not least because the lack of such careful instruction has huge repercussions. It’s a deficiency which inevitably has an adverse impact on a person’s growth in grace, their experience of the gospel, and their fruitfulness in ministry.
This short series of seven studies, therefore, is intended to provide something of a corrective to any such lack. It is, of course, no more than an introduction, starting with God’s promise that He would pour out His Spirit, concluding with His exhortation to be filled with the Spirit, and, between those ‘bookends’, exploring some basic truths about the Holy Spirit and the Spirit’s work in and through His church.
There are two main dangers against which it’s as well from the start to be on your guard.
1. First, there’s the danger that we treat (and keep) this as a purely ‘academic’ or theoretical study: ensure you approach these studies expectantly, therefore, looking to the Spirit Himself to use them in a thoroughly transformative way in your life.
2. The second danger is that these studies become contentious and occasion a divisive spirit. That runs wholly counter to all that the Spirit is committed to doing! So pray for the wisdom to ensure that the manner in which you share in these studies does not serve to grieve the very One about whom we are seeking to learn!
The Fire Of The Lord 1 PowerPoints 1